Do you want to outsource data entry services but aren’t sure where to begin? You’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll give you the simplified version of what data entry is, how you can outsource data entry services, and why you should do it.
What Is Data Entry?
Data entry is the process of collecting, organizing, computerizing, checking, and editing company, client, or customer data. This can include transcription of calls or meetings, admin related data entry work, raw data input, product description, etc. This may involve the use of special data entry software. Data entry is usually done multiple times throughout a business day and the type of data and load depend on the industry.
A data entry operator is the person that handles the processes involved in data management. They are familiar with multiple formatting options, can manage a large load of data efficiently, and ensure the inputted information is accurate. Sometimes, these operators will also be tasked with generating reports based on the data they handle. They also have the responsibility of handling data with integrity and with respect to data privacy laws and regulations.
Why Should I Outsource Data Entry Services?
With years of experience and practice, the professional touch of a data entry specialist is delicate and precise. Their honed attention to detail and familiarity with data entry tools means you can depend on their work to be free of mistakes. Data entry workers have that vital skill of being able to input data quickly and in the format you require while ensuring that it is complete and correct.
Efficiency and Productivity
Human resources are important, especially in a smaller business or startup. The time that hires spend learning data entry practices is time taken away from other core areas of business operations. These areas need their specialized attention to take advantage of growth opportunities. And your data entry requires the same. When you maximize the potential of your team members, you maximize your profitability through efficiency and productivity.
Hiring a professional means letting the professional do what they do best. This refers both to data entry specialists getting the job done in a time-efficient manner and your other hires using their specialized talents where intended. Time spent learning something new becomes time spent funneling the knowledge they already possess into your business.
You don’t have to break the bank to hire a competent data entry specialist. There are several outsourcing platforms and third-party service providers out there where you can find vetted professionals to do the job at reasonable rates.
Outsourcing data entry can help you save money on various operational expenses, such as:
- Hiring, onboarding, and training
- Software and data entry tools
- Overhead and equipment
- Employee benefits
Additionally, hiring from a country with a lower cost of living could mean cheaper labor costs that don’t sacrifice the quality of the work, provided you hire from a reputable agency or platform.
Where can I Outsource Data Entry Services Online?
What are Things I Should Consider Before Outsourcing Data Entry?
1. In-house costs vs outsourcing costs
Weigh if the cost of outsourcing a data entry specialist is cheaper than investing time and resources learning it yourself, building your own department or team, or hiring someone to do it in-house.
Sensitive data needs to be handled by professionals who comply with data security regulations and up-to-date protocols. Choose a company that offers these security guarantees, has a spotless record, and has worked with other companies similar to yours in the past.
The nature of your business informs the nature of your data management needs. Consider what the best data entry software for your specific needs is, and make sure that the agency or individual you are considering can use it. If you don’t know what software you need, it’s worth checking if they have a help service or blog that can give you information and guidance. Additionally, make sure the one you work with is up-to-date on the latest software and methods for data entry.
4. Turnaround Time
Sometimes, speed is key, and it’s important to hire someone who can get a heavy workload done as fast as possible. This is something you can check based on their track record, client reviews, or by simply asking them how long it takes them to complete a task or project.
Research how much time an outsourcing company or individual has spent in the space, how many clients they have handled, and how many stellar reviews they have on their site. Reviews indicate a tried and tested service. This is a customer who has already worked with the company, agency, or freelancer you are considering hiring.
- Check how easy it is to use their service and how streamlined their processes are.
- If you find that you like working with someone, check if there is a way to ensure you work with the same person on future projects.
- Ideally, make sure that they have 24/7 customer support or at least a way to get a response to any inquiry in a timely fashion.
Pros of Outsourcing Data Entry
1. International Talent
There certainly are talented individuals around every corner, but they may not be the kind of talent you’re looking for or be at the level of expertise you require. Outsourcing introduces you to a much broader pool of experts and specialists from all over the globe who have the skillsets you are looking for.
2. Flexible Hours
Perhaps you are the type who wishes you didn’t need to sleep so that you could get more work done. Well, outsourcing can almost make that wish a reality. If you hire someone from a different time zone, the person you outsource data entry services to can be awake doing work you send them while you sleep. Conversely, if you need someone to be awake when you are so you can communicate and coordinate better, most remote workers have flexible hours that cater to the preference of the client. Never miss a deadline again and even get ahead on some work.
3. The Professional Touch
When you pay for an expert of any kind, you are paying for years of honed craft. Data entry professionals are well-versed in online and offline solutions, accurate in their data input, and have optimized the way they organize data.
4. Competitive Advantage
Combining the expertise and experience they have, and the amount you save when you choose to outsource data entry services to specialist teams, you can get ahead of the competition and serve better rates for the products and services you offer.
Cons of Outsourcing Data Entry
1. Communication and Cultural Barriers
Clear communication is key, especially if you’re working with someone remotely. Recognizing a language barrier can be as simple as emailing a candidate and asking them if they speak English fluently or hopping on a call with them to verify. Other ways you can attract your ideal candidate is by listing “must speak English fluently” in your job posting or application requirements.
Cultural barriers can be a little more difficult to spot right away. They also tend to pop up as you work together. When picking a country to outsource from, consider if they have worked with other companies or businesses from your country in the past. You can also request a test or trial period.
2. Data Breaches or Leaks
The idea of sharing confidential information with a third-party can be a cause of hesitation. Ease your mind by hiring from agencies with a good track record and strong data security and privacy protocols in place. This way, you won’t have to worry about client or company data being stolen or exposed. You can also request hires to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) for extra protection.
3. Divided Attention
It’s common for freelancers and VAs to take on multiple tasks from multiple clients. If you don’t want their attention divided, you can outsource data entry services to a VA you are paying full time. Just assign them other tasks that they can do when they;’re not processing data.
4. Time Zones
Differing time zones can be beneficial. However, they have the potential to be a problem. This is especially true if a worker’s hours are not flexible. We’re not saying they should be available 24/7. If you have a 12-hour time difference, though, they may not be able to work during your business hours. This would mean that it might take them a while to respond. To avoid issues, ensure that they can accommodate your preferred time zone and working hours. That is, if you expect them to be on call when you are.
5. Less Control
When you outsource, you are giving partial control over to a third party. This can be daunting. That’s why it’s important to work with a partner you trust. You should also choose one that offers regular updates.
When you outsource data entry services, it can be risky. You are putting all of your data into the hands of people who are not part of your company. This can cause security issues and problems related to a lack of loyalty. These issues are not actually difficult to avoid, though. You can very easily set up security protocols and encourage integrity by using a proper hiring process and treating hires well, whether they are in-house employees, short-term freelancers, or temporary agency hires.